Sunday, October 2, 2011
How you feeling? Giants vs. Cardinals
By Dan Graziano
As you get ready for Sunday's game against the Cardinals in Arizona, here's one reason for New York Giants fans to feel good and one reason for concern:
Feeling good: Osi was on the plane
Injured defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck both made the trip to Arizona on Saturday with the team, which is a strong sign that the Giants are at least optimistic that they'll play. We're a few hours away from knowing for sure, but if both are active, it can only strengthen a Giants pass rush that has been a critical part of the team's 2-1 start. Umenyiora has yet to play this season following knee surgery he had in August, and Tuck has been limited with a neck injury. But second-year man Jason Pierre-Paul has five sacks already, and a rotation that includes all three of them would serve to keep everyone fresh and make that pass rush even more fearsome against an Arizona offensive line that doesn't offer quarterback Kevin Kolb much in the way of protection.
Cause for concern: Larry Fitzgerald
The Cardinals' star wideout is a mismatch for anyone the Giants try to use to cover him in their secondary. As well as cornerbacks Corey Webster and Aaron Ross have played, they haven't faced anything close to the threat Fitzgerald poses with his size, strength, speed and instincts. They know Kolb will look Fitzgerald's way often, and they're certain to use lots of safety help in coverage against him. But assuming the Cardinals can generate enough in the run game to keep the Giants from pressuring Kolb on every single play, it's a sure thing he'll find Fitzgerald at some point for the kind of big play the Giants didn't give up last week against the Eagles. The key will be trying to limit those big plays and the damage they cause -- no easy task.